Tag Archives: eu nationals

Fee waived for EU nationals – but that doesn’t make the process right

The 3 million EU nationals in this country may no longer have to pay a fee for settled status but that doesn’t mean that we can have any confidence in the process. It doesn’t mean that we should be any less angry that our friends and neighbours and family and partners are being put through this. They were citizens, free to enjoy pretty much the same rights as us. Overnight they become people who are subject to immigration control.

If we could trust the Home Office to make humane, reasonable, rational decisions about people’s lives, it would still be insulting to these people that we are putting them through it, but we could at least have reason to believe that they would be treated fairly.

The thing is, the Home Office often makes heartless, inhumane and unreasonable decisions that defy any sort of fairness.

The most recent example is that of an elderly Iranian couple who have owned a house in Edinburgh for four decades and who are an integral part of the support system for their grandson with autism. There is, by the way, a petition to the Home Office which I would urge you to sign. Adverse publicity can sometimes help, so do what you can to spread the word. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

WATCH: Why EU Nationals should vote Lib Dem in Local Elections

A great video from Islington Liberal Democrats:

Vince made clear on Peston today that we are definitely going for this group of people.

There will be a series of tailored social media adverts in 21 European languages. The adverts are fronted by MEPs from those countries and they encourage EU citizens to register and vote Lib Dem in May.

Vince said:

The local elections represent a huge opportunity for EU migrants, who contribute so much to our economy and society, to make their voices heard. We are reaching out to them to vote Lib Dem and help us support their rights and ultimately secure an exit from Brexit. Their support could make a vital difference in close council seats.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Dear Theresa, You’re either hopelessly out of touch or not being straight with us

On 19th October 2017, we received a letter from Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, ahead of her meeting with the European Council as part of the UK’s Brexit negotiations. Given that she had taken the trouble to write to us, we thought it only polite to reply. This is our response.

Dear Theresa,

Thank you for your letter explaining what you are doing to secure the rights of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and of UK citizens living in other EU member states. We were relieved to hear that you are taking this issue so seriously. Because your actions and those of your government since the referendum in June 2016 have given a very different impression.

You say that the rights of EU and UK citizens are your first priority. This is reassuring. But it would be slightly more reassuring, we feel, if it had not taken you sixteen months to come to this conclusion. You have left three million EU citizens living in the UK and over a million UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU in a state of increasing anxiety. And you have done nothing.

The freedom of European Union citizens to live and work without hindrance in any of the twenty eight member states has been one of the most positive and profound impacts of our collective European endeavour. As a married couple of one British citizen (Simon) and one German national (Natalie), it has formed the bedrock of our shared life together. And of the future plans that now lie in tatters. And we are not alone.

The three million EU citizens living in the UK work hard, pay their taxes and contribute to our society. They are our doctors and our nurses. They are our office workers, our builders and our taxi drivers. They crew our fishing boats, they look after our elderly and, yes, they pick our strawberries. But your inaction has created a climate where they no longer feel welcome. Where they fear for their future.

And it is not just these individuals who are affected, Theresa. You have left their – often British – spouses, their children, their friends and their employers in a state of enduring limbo, too. Punctured with vile threats from various members of your government about complex registration procedures, loss of rights, compulsory fingerprinting, exorbitant fees and more. Oh, and with your Home Office writing to numerous EU citizens demanding that they make immediate preparations to leave the UK.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments
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